Over the past 24 years, the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) program has provided highly accurate remote-sensing characterization of aerosol optical and physical properties for an increasingly extensive geographic distribution including all continents and many oceanic island and coastal sites. The measurements and retrievals from the AERONET global network have addressed satellite and model validation needs very well, but there have been challenges in making comparisons to similar parameters from in situ surface and airborne measurements. Additionally, with improved spatial and temporal satellite remote sensing of aerosols, there is a need for higher spatial-resolution ground-based remote-sensing networks. An effort to address these needs resulted in a number of field campaign networks called Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Networks (DRAGONs) that were designed to provide a database for in situ and remote-sensing comparison and analysis of local to mesoscale variability in aerosol properties. This paper describes the DRAGON deployments that will continue to contribute to the growing body of research related to meso- and microscale aerosol features and processes. The research presented in this special issue illustrates the diversity of topics that has resulted from the application of data from these networks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science